On today’s episode of The Drop, The Starters discuss the NBA’s opening week surprises, a few over/under predictions, Steve Nash’s legacy, contract extensions, Commissioner Silver’s midseason tournament idea, and 4-on-5 defense. All that, plus Tas’ Worst of the Week, Leigh’s Tweet of the Week, a rusty round of Pun-Gun, the 1985 ALCS, and how horses stay so focused.
On Thursday’s episode of The Starters, the guys continue to overreact after just one game of basketball. Kemba Walker is new the Michael Jordan, the Miami Heat are better without LeBron, and the Bulls have the best bench in the league. All that, plus the “He’s Back Report,” crazy 3D courts, MKG’s improved jumper, hats, and an Urkel-bot.
On Wednesday’s episode of The Starters, the guys discuss Chandler Parsons’ rough night, MVP candidate Anthony Davis, the unfortunate Lakers, crazy haircuts, and more, in a new segment called “It’s Just One Night, But …” All that, plus our most anticipated games of the night, Kemba Walker’s contract extension, and a fantasy minute unicorn.
Q1: Best move of the NBA offseason?
Q2: Must-watch League Pass team?
Q3: Who will win Rookie of the Year?
Q4: True or false: The Sixers will win less than 20 games this season.
Q5: Bigger bounce-back season: Larry Sanders or Roy Hibbert?
Q6: Who will be the biggest name traded this season?
Q7: Which team will rattle off the league’s longest winning streak?
Q8: The Suns’ three highest-paid players are all point guards — give them a nickname.
On The Starters second season premiere, the guys discuss what they’re most excited about this upcoming season, Kawhi Leonard’s contract negotiations, and the disappointing news about Steve Nash’s back injury. All that, plus Michael Jordan selfies, the San Antonio Spurs’ Top 5 Forgotten Moments, and a brand new Starters set. Let’s NBA!
On today’s ninth — and final — installment of The Starters’ 2014-15 NBA preview podcasts, the guys wrap up answering their 72 burning questions about the upcoming season. Will the Spurs repeat as champions? Which milestone are you most looking forward to being broken this season? And who will win Sixth Man of the Year? All that, plus special guest, Dennis Scott, takes on the “Hot Seat.”
The Up/Down Report is a weekly look at people, teams and other things across the league and whether they are trending up or down, plus some things I’m still haven’t figured out. Here’s what’s up (and down) for the first week of the season.
UP: Milwaukee Bucks
Ever since I’ve been a basketball fan, the Milwaukee Bucks have been pretty boring. I mean, this is a franchise that counts Glenn Robinson, Michael Redd and Vin Baker among its biggest stars of the past three decades. Even Ray Allen, probably the coolest Buck of my lifetime, is more of a classy gentleman than trend-setting iconoclast. The notable exception is Sam Cassell, but I don’t think anyone really thinks of him as a Milwaukee Buck.
That’s going to change this year. After a bizarre 2013-14 season in which they tried to make the playoffs but instead finished with the worst record in the league despite the 76ers tying the record for most consecutive losses while simultaneously forcing the NBA to consider lottery reform due to their obvious tanking, the Bucks have some indie cred this season. And it’s mostly thanks to those two guys you see up top — Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker. One of them set the league on fire (as much as a guy who averaged 6-4-2 can) with his wide-eyed enthusiasm and frighteningly long limbs, the other was the next LeBron before Andrew Wiggins showed up on YouTube.
And that’s why I’m loving the Bucks. They’re still going to be pretty bad this season, but at least we know that going in. And we also know that this team might lead the league in Vine-able highlights like a game-winning dunk over a guy off a spin move or dunking after covering the entire court with all of two dribbles. Throw in a potential Larry Sanders bounce-back year, John Henson playing NBA basketball as a human stick figure, O.J. Mayo with a young Kobe fro, the fact that Jason Kidd is somehow their coach and the likelihood that Zaza Pachulia will do something hilarious this season and the Bucks might actually be a feel-good story this year. Because seriously, when is the last time the Bucks had more than one player whose jersey you’d like to wear? It’s been forever. Fear the Deer.
DOWN: Klay Thompson
It really seems like Klay Thompson is going to be the main dividing point among The Starters this season. Skeets and Leigh think he’s one of the best players in the league, primed for a breakout season, while Tas and I think he’s good but definitely replaceable. So let me lay out my position on why I’m down on Klay Thompson.
For one, he’s never posted a league average PER. We all agree it’s not a perfect stat, but it’s pretty good for a quick look at how a player performs and Klaybird hasn’t even posted the magic number of 15 that John Hollinger used as the baseline of “average” for his entire system. Outside of that, he averaged 18 points per game (good!), three rebounds (not so good) and two assists (also not so good) last season, numbers that are fine but that certainly don’t earn Wesley Matthews and Arron Afflalo the same kind of accolades. And while Klay is definitely a good defender and can handle a huge chunk of the league’s point guards, he does the majority of his work on the wing, which is by its nature a less impactful position for a defender.
Those are the facts, so here are the opinions. He’s not the best shooter on his own team. He’s not the best wing defender on his own team. He’s not the best ball-handler, rebounder, passer or scorer on his own team. And for me, two guard is the single most replaceable position in today’s NBA. Would the Warriors be just as good with Matthews or Afflalo in Klay’s spot? Could J.J. Redick step in for Klay and have the same impact? I think the answers to both of those questions are yes, and I think everyone in the league would trade all three of those guys for Kevin Love.
That’s just how I feel about Klay Thompson — very good player, perfect fit with Stephen Curry, not a franchise guy. That being said, having seen him in the preseason, I am 100 percent prepared to be wrong about this.
On today’s episode, the guys dissect their recent Starters Fantasy Basketball Draft featuring luminaries like Lamorne Morris (“New Girl”), Kristen Ledlow (“Inside Stuff”), and Joe Mande (comedian/writer). We discuss where Kevin Durant fell, regretful picks, and the rookie class. That, plus your fantasy basketball questions, and we pull off a trade DURING the show!
On today’s eighth installment of The Starters’ 2014-15 NBA preview podcasts, the guys continue to answer 72 burning questions about the upcoming season. Who will win MVP? Who will win Coach of the Year? And what “pun-tastic” N.Y. Post headline are we most likely to see? All that, plus Skeets tackles double-doubles, Klay Thompson’s contract, and the “Game of Thrones” on the dreaded “Hot Seat.”
On today’s seventh installment of The Starters’ 2014-15 NBA preview podcasts, the guys — minus Dad Kerby — continue to tackle 72 burning questions about the upcoming season. Which team is the most difficult to predict? Who will win Defensive Player of the Year? And which random nickname will Tas try to get to stick this season? All that, plus Leigh discusses Coach Pop, Tom Chambers, and the best biceps in the league on the “Hot Seat.”